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Monday, September 21, 2020

Reactions to Barrow’s NIA name-change

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Below are some of the comments randomly picked on Facebook. Omar Jabang: “President Barrow, in as much as we love and support you, doesn’t mean we will go to sleep and watch you unchecked. The National Intelligence Agency (NIA) is a creation of the Constitution. See Section 191 of the Constitution. If you wish the name to be changed send a bill to the National Assembly for an amendment to the section which creates it by coming up with a new name in accordance with section 226 of the Constitution. “Section 191 is not an entrenched clause so a simple parliamentary deliberation will do. Let’s start doing things according to law. It would not be business as usual. Gone are the days when violations of the Constitution would be tolerated without consequences. We understand the trauma attached to the name NIA but that’s not an excuse for non observance of the book you swore to defend. Put your house in order and consult before you take your steps. You are under the microscope of the new Gambia. For the purpose of clarity, it wouldn’t be business as Jammeh. We have passed that stage and there is no going back to it. This is why the need for naming your cabinet. Your Attorney General would have put you right. The name change of the NIA to whatever name is unconstitutional. The NIA was not created by any President but by the Constitution. If you want it changed, follow the Constitutional dictate.” Buba Mbaye Bojang: “The hawk eye of the nation is on the new government and thus the legal luminaries among them should offer their services or bow out. Decisions made purely for political scores cannot supersede the dictates of our constitution. In as much as how rogue the agency was and how traumatic the nation has been during the period of the former regime, doing away with it has to be aligned with the constitution. It’s becoming more and more worrying in seeing the new government making decisions which totally negate the law. Get your acts together please; we cannot afford to have the new government borrowing lines from the playbook of dictator Jammeh.” Farimang Phatey: “So I woke up to the news that the name of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) has been “changed” to the “State Intelligence Services (SIS)” by the Barrow Administration. “I know this is a welcomed move by many people but Mr. President, have you forgotten that the NIA was established by an Act of Parliament? To change its name, a Bill has to be tabled before the National Assembly and…other things follow. Let us be clear, Presidential declarations are not laws. In as much as we like the change of name, we want it to be in accordance with the Constitution. I have suffered enough from the former President’s Set-Settal declaration. To those of you reminding us to be patient, which we really should do, it is high time you started reminding our government that there is something called the Constitution which they should follow.” Lamin Fatty: “One thing should be made very clear to our new government: Gambians fought so hard for a change and not just for a change, we want a government that will uphold the rule of law and be accountable to its people. Any pronouncement or appointment in contradiction of our laws must not be compromised for whatever reason(s). The mistakes that gave Jammeh’s regime an easy ride to abuse, exploit and enslave us, will not be tolerated and it should be everyone’s responsibility to make sure that scenario never finds a room in our political landscape again.”]]>

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